Welcome back to the Cost Corner, where we provide practical insight into the complex cost and pricing requirements that apply to Government Contractors. We just completed two articles on the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA)  and, before that, two articles on Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) audits. This issue of the Cost Corner concludes our coverage of TINA by addressing DCAA Truth in Negotiations (TIN) compliance audits (defective pricing audits) and identifying best practices for contractors to mitigate defective pricing risk.Continue Reading Government Contracts Cost and Pricing: The Truth in Negotiations Act, or Whatever the Kids Are Calling It These Days (Part 3)
Welcome back to the Cost Corner, where we provide practical insight into the complex cost and pricing regulations that apply to Government contractors. This is the second installment of a two-part article on the Truthful Cost or Pricing Data Statute, commonly known by its former name, the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA). As a reminder, TINA is a procurement statute that requires contractors: (1) to disclose information – known as cost or pricing data – when negotiating certain types of contracts, subcontracts, and modifications; (2) to certify that those data were accurate, complete, and current as of the date of agreement on price or other date agreed to by the parties (the “relevant date”); and (3) to agree to a contract clause entitling the Government to a price reduction if the contractor furnishes cost or pricing data that are defective, i.e., inaccurate, incomplete, or not current.Continue Reading Government Contracts Cost and Pricing – The Truth in Negotiations Act … or Whatever the Kids Are Calling It These Days (Part 2)
Welcome back to the Cost Corner, where we address the complex cost and pricing regulations that apply to Government contractors. The last edition of the Cost Corner provided an overview of the regulatory framework for Government contracts cost and pricing, including the Truthful Cost or Pricing Data Statute, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Cost Principles, and the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS). This edition of the Cost Corner takes a closer look at the Truthful Cost or Pricing Data Statute, commonly referred to by its former name, the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA).Continue Reading Government Contracts Cost and Pricing – The Truth in Negotiations Act … or Whatever the Kids Are Calling It These Days (Part 1)
Welcome to the Cost Corner. This is the first in a series of articles exploring the complex cost and pricing regulations that apply to government contractors. This article provides an overview of the regulatory framework and its rationale. Subsequent articles will explain specific aspects of the regulations in further detail and provide periodic updates on new developments.Continue Reading Government Contracts Cost and Pricing – A Brief Overview of the Regulatory Landscape
By memorandum dated June 7, 2018, Shay Assad, DoD’s Director, Defense Pricing/Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, has reversed decades of procurement practice that has been embraced by industry and the government alike in attempting to manage the often unmanageable process of providing the government with cost or pricing data that is current, accurate and complete as of the date of agreement on price. Recognizing that inherent “lag time” often makes it impossible for contractors to provide “up to the minute” data in real time at the point when the parties “shake hands,” contractors have customarily performed immediate post-handshake “sweeps” of their databases to provide the government with any data that may have escaped the pre-handshake dragnet. The government, in turn, has customarily accepted the data, evaluated its impact on the price, and negotiated, if and as appropriate, adjustments to the price. The net result was that the government had all the data, its impact on price was addressed, and the contractor avoided liability under the Truth in Negotiations Act and, possibly, under the False Claims Act. Everyone was happy.
We previously noted DCAA’s hasty implementation of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (“CAFC’s”) decision in Gates v. Raytheon Co., 584 F.3d 1062 (Fed. Cir. 2009), requiring daily compounding of interest on adjustments made to rectify Cost Accounting Standards (“CAS”) noncompliances. DCAA Implements Federal Circuit Decision Requiring Interest Compounded Daily on Adjustments for CAS Noncompliances (June 14, 2010). We say “hasty” because – while noting that its holding was required by Canadian Fur Trappers v. United States, 884 F.2d 563 (Fed. Cir. 1989) – the panel expressed reservations regarding that decision’s validity, commenting that appellee’s (Raytheon’s) arguments “may support the proposition that Canadian Fur Trappers was erroneously decided.” Not surprisingly, Raytheon accepted this implicit invitation to petition for rehearing en banc, and that petition is currently pending. Nonetheless, the FAR Councils are now rushing to mimic DCAA by proposing in equally hasty fashion to extend the holding to overpayments under the Truth in Negotiations Act (“TINA”). 75 Fed. Reg. 57719-57721 (Sept. 22, 2010).
Continue Reading Rush To Judgment – FAR Councils Propose Daily Compounding Of Interest For TINA Violations
Effective October 1, 2010, the final rule amending FAR subpart 15.4 expands government contracting officers’ ability to obtain cost or price-related data for all contracts, including currently exempted commercial-items contracts. The amended rule is intended to clarify the FAR’s definition of “cost or pricing data” and to make the definition consistent with that used in the Truth in Negotiations Act (“TINA”) (10 U.S.C. §2306a and 41 U.S.C. §254b). The final rule’s effect, however, may increase both a government contractor’s disclosure requirements and its False Claims Act vulnerability.
Continue Reading Redefining Cost Or Pricing Data
The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council issued a final rule on August 30, 2010 adjusting acquisition-related thresholds for inflation as set forth in section 807 of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. 75 Fed. Reg. 53129. Section 807 dictates that acquisition-related thresholds must be adjusted for inflation every five years using the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers. Pub. L. No. 108-375, 118 Stat. 1811 (2004). This section does not allow for adjustments to thresholds contained in the Davis-Bacon Act, the Service Contract Act of 1965, or Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979.
Continue Reading Inflation Adjustment Of Acquisition-Related Thresholds In The FAR
By John W. Chierichella and Marko W. Kipa
Reform is not always popular among those who enjoyed the old regime. The current push to strip away protections afforded to contractors participating in commercial-item acquisitions illustrates this struggle – and why the reforms were valuable in the first place.Continue Reading Rolling Back Past Reforms